Saturday, March 30, 2019

Free Times weighs in

The freetimes weekly newspaper in Columbia has weighed in on Richland 2 again.

See the March 29, 2019 article by Al Dozier here.

On February 14th Al wrote an article that was titled "Richland 2 Chair, Vice Chair Will Keep Posts After Controversy". You can read that article here. In that article Dozier wrote about the resolution that the Board considered for authority to remove an Officer from his or her office, such as Chair Vice Chair or Secretary. The Resolution was not about removing a member from the Board.

He wrote, "The measure failed by a 4-3 vote ..." He continued, "Board members Teresa Holmes, Cheryl Caution Parker, James Shadd and McKie voted against the measure. Elkins-Johnson, James Manning and Lindsay Agostini voted for the policy."

So the vote was four against, three in favor.

BUT, when you remove the votes of two persons who are not legally on the Board (McKie and Holmes), the Resolution actually passed (3-2).

The true vote was Board members Cheryl Caution Parker and James Shadd voted against the measure. Elkins-Johnson, James Manning and Lindsay Agostini voted for the policy.

A 3-2 vote means the measure passed. This is just one of many votes that the School Board must re-visit for all eight Board meetings since November 13, 2018. When the improper votes are removed, some votes will change on student appeals and transfers and on other matters. 

S.C. Ethics Commission Owed $2,612,153

The South Carolina Ethics Commission is behind on posting Minutes of its open meetings and behind on updating the Debtors' List.

You can view public information at

The Debtors' List is dated 1/3/2019 and shows Amelia McKie's debt as $41,000. According to media reports earlier this year, that total was bumped by $10,000, when she failed to make a partial payment by December 31, 2018. The amount is now somewhere north of $51,000.

The last published Minutes of the Ethics Commission are for the November 2018 meeting. Did the Commission meet in December? January? February? March?

I called the Commission early in February and was told that the McKie matter was not on the Agenda for the February meeting but it would be heard in March. When I called earlier in March, I was told it would not be on the March Agenda.

When does the Commission meet? You'd think that would be easy to find on the website. It may meet at 9:30AM on the third Thursday, based on the Minutes of the November and September meetings. Call, if you are interested. The phone number for the Ethics Commission is 803.253.4192

To locate the Minutes of past meeting, go to
Hover over "About Us"
Click on Commission
Scroll down and click on "Meeting Minutes"

One of the more interesting pages is the Fines and Fee Report for FY 2017. You can find it if you

Go to
Hover over "About Us"
Click on "Reports and Policies"
Scroll all the way down, under Accountability Reports
Click on "Fines and Fee Report (PDF)"

You'll see that, in all of FY 2017, the Ethics Commission collected only $184,486.50.

Of that total the Ethics Commission itself collected $129,438.91, The S.C. Department of Revenue (DOR) helped by collecting $51,643.59 under its GEAR (Governmental Enterprise Accounts Receivable) Program and a puny $3,404.00 under its Setoff Debt Program.

The GEAR Program includes garnishment of wages and state individual income tax refunds, use of tax liens, and levy of bank accounts.

The DOR charges a whopping 22% of the liability collected..

Is it any wonder that the debt owed the Ethics Commission totaled $2,612,153.11 on the 1/3/2019 26-page Debtor's List, which can be found via the link on the Commission's homepage?

At a quick glance,, the oldest debt is $100.00 from 1999. The largest is $212,945 from 2009 (a Richland 1 School Board candidate, Torlando R. Childress). Does anyone know where he is? Finding him could help the DOR rake in $44,000.